First Team 08/11/2019

Sánchez Flores: “It Was Our Time”

Aside from the obvious benefits of picking up a first Premier League at the 12th attempt, Quique Sánchez Flores believes three points gained at Carrow Road tonight will also serve as a timely confidence boost for his side as they attack the rest of 2019/20.

Speaking after Gerard Deulofeu and Andre Gray goals defeated Norwich – a team who the Hornets now leapfrog in the table – the Head Coach said: “It is an important win for everyone at Watford.

“We are training hard but you need to believe, and to believe you need to win. To win you need to fight and to want and when all these things are put on the pitch you have more possibilities to win.

“I hope this result can help the players to realise all the things we repeat to them every week – that they are much better, they can fight and they can do more.” 

It was a Deulofeu strike as early as 76 seconds that settled Watford’s nerves in Norfolk, and after extending the advantage through substitute Gray after the break, the Hornets had to see the game out a player down following the sending off of Christian Kabasele for a second booking.

“We are really happy with the match and with how fast we scored,” said Sánchez Flores.

“We suffered a little bit more because in the last 30 to 35 minutes we were playing with one player less and the team was a little bit different in the last moments, but I’m happy with the performance of the players – not conceding goals, scoring quick and playing with positive energy.

“That’s now three clean sheets, which is really good, and I hope we can create this kind of spirit of a solid team playing well because in some parts of the first half I think we played very well.”

Sánchez Flores had talked up the game’s significance in the build-up to a match between what were the division’s bottom two teams, but rather than suffer under the weight of pressure the Hornets responded in a show of real character and purpose.

“We knew this was a significant match and it felt like a final,” said the Spaniard.

“We tried to give our energy with spirit and tried to put soul into the pitch, knowing that they also needed to win like us and were playing at their home with a lot of supporters in a noisy stadium. But it was our time to show something else and to get some steps up was important.

“I want to say that this win is especially for the fans. I want to repeat that from me, my staff and my players, because they are always there and they support and support and support since a long time ago.”

First Team 08/11/2019

Match Pack: Norwich City v Watford

As the Hornets prepare to visit Norwich City at Carrow Road in the Premier League, here is all you need to know about the fixture...


INFO

  • Norwich City v Watford
  • Premier League
  • Carrow Road
  • Friday November 8, 8.00pm GMT

TICKETS

  • Away tickets for this fixture are SOLD OUT.

HOW TO FOLLOW

  • Live commentary of the match will be available at watfordfc.com.
  • This match will be televised on Sky Sports.
  • Find live coverage and behind-the-scenes content on our social channels!

OFFICIALS

Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Scott Ledger, Simon Long
Fourth official: Keith Stroud
VAR: Andy Madley
Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday


TEAM NEWS

Quique Sánchez Flores said Troy Deeney (knee) is ready to be involved with the first team again, while Étienne Capoue (back), Sebastian Prödl (hamstring), Ismaïla Sarr (hamstring) and José Holebas have also been recovering this week and could be involved. Danny Welbeck (hamstring), Tom Cleverley (heel) and Domingos Quina (groin) are still unavailable.

Daniel Farke said Grant Hanley (groin) and Christoph Zimmermann (ankle) are unlikely to return until after the international break, whereas Mario Vrancic (calf) could make his comeback against Watford. Todd Cantwell and Ibrahim Amadou have also recovered from knocks.


OPPOSITION FORM

Newly-promoted Norwich City have had a tricky start to the season but, despite losing two more games than Watford, the Canaries pulled off early wins against Newcastle United and shockingly Manchester City to earn them six of their seven Premier League points so far. A loss to Brighton at the weekend means they go into this fixture in 19th place. Daniel Farke’s team were the entertainers of the Championship last campaign, winning the league with 94 points. Teemu Pukki was the Championship’s top scorer with 29 goals and carried his form into the Premier League, scoring six goals in his first five games, but the striker has not scored in his past six outings, since September 14. Argentine Emi Buendía has also been in form with four assists, putting him joint second in the charts.


HEAD TO HEAD

Overall:

Won 27, Drawn 29, Lost 42

Last Six:

May 2016: Norwich City 4-2 Watford (Deeney, Ighalo) (Premier League)
Dec 2015: Watford 2-0 Norwich City (Deeney, Ighalo) (Premier League)
Feb 2015: Watford 0-3 Norwich City (Championship)
Aug 2014: Norwich 3-0 Watford (Championship)
Sep 2013: Watford 2-3 Norwich City (Acuna, Faraoni) (EFL Cup)
Apr 2011: Watford 2-2 Norwich City (Graham, Cowie) (Championship)


GOLDEN FLASHBACK

August 6, 2010 — Norwich City 2-3 Watford: John Eustace opened the scoring and Danny Graham added another two goals as the Hornets saw off a newly-promoted Norwich City side on the opening day of the 2010/11 Championship season. The game marked Troy Deeney’s first appearance for the club, as he came on for Marvin Sordell after signing from Walsall on the same day. Graham’s double was the start of an impressive goalscoring season, as he netted 24 goals in the league, winning the golden boot, and 27 in all competitions.


PLAYED FOR BOTH

Sébastien Bassong

Although his time at Vicarage Road was brief, Sébastien Bassong played a part in the Hornets’ most recent promotion, joining for the first half of the 2014/15 season. He made 11 first-team appearances for the club before returning to Norwich City in January 2015. As both Watford and Norwich achieved promotion come the end of the season, Bassong was presented with two medals. He returned to Vicarage Road with Norwich in the Premier League but failed to keep out Ighalo and Deeney in a 2-0 victory for the Hornets.

Malky Mackay

Mackay spent most of his playing career at Carrow Road, making 212 appearances for Norwich. After a short spell at West Ham he joined the Hornets. Mackay made 52 appearances for Watford over three years and scored three goals, including a winner against Luton Town. In 2007, Mackay joined Aidy Boothroyd’s coaching staff, becoming first-team coach, and in June 2009 he was named manager – having been caretaker manager for a short spell the year prior. He spent two successful seasons in the Hornets' hotseat before moving on to Cardiff City.

Anthony McNamee

McNamee started his career at Watford, coming through the youth ranks, and went on to make 91 appearances for the first team, scoring twice. At the end of the 2001/02 season he won the Young Player of the Season award. He heavily featured during the 2005/06 campaign, making 26 starts for Aidy Boothroyd’s side. The winger later spent a season on loan to the Canaries in 2009/10 and earned a permanent transfer to Norwich the following season, where he went on to make 32 appearances.


WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

Quique Sánchez Flores:

“It's a big final for both teams. It's not the end of the season, but it's a big final. The result can change the future of both teams. It's massive.

“They are in the same situation as us. They are positive, stable and able to play very good matches. They are also suffering a little bit, like us, and we are at the same point in the season with similar feelings.

“We know we need to change this dynamic and this situation. It's about what we can do versus Norwich.”

Daniel Farke:

“It's the Premier League so there's no 'easy' game. Even tomorrow we are probably seen at having less than a 50 per cent chance of winning the game, but we need to keep fighting and get as many wins as we can against the bigger clubs to survive.

“There probably is more pressure on Watford than us, they're in a worse position than us and it's not easy as they're meant to be an experienced Premier League team. It's a game where both teams are just focusing on being the better side, I don't think the pressure will get to an experienced side like Watford.

“Deeney is a very important player for Watford, so we need to find solutions to deal with that.”